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The Government of the United States of America recognizes that the human fetus shall begin to accrue nascent civil rights at the age of sixteen weeks of gestation: the right to life. Before that time the fetus will be accorded recognition as part of his mother with her rights, responsibilities, and prerogatives. According to tradition, the next major accrual of rights will occur when the child is born.

The Legislatures of the individual states and commonwealths may implement, define, or enlarge these nascent, limited civil rights as they might deem appropriate. This Amendment shall become effective on the first day of the next month following its ratification by thirty-eight (38) of the fifty (50) states, and the ratification must be completed within seven years of the first State's ratification.

To read Commentary on this Amendment, click here.


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